Seedy Salted Soda Bread
by Erin of Mountain Rose Herbs
This super easy recipe is perfect for anyone who feels intimidated by the art of baking. With a crisp crust, moist crumb, aromatic seeds, and a nice crunch of salt, this savory loaf is wonderful with soups, stews, holiday meals, or just a simple smear of fresh melting butter.
Based on traditional soda breads which use a chemical reaction between baking soda and buttermilk instead of yeast, this quick bread requires no resting and rising. The technique has been used by cultures around the world for centuries to create dinner loaves, sweet breads, and griddle cakes. Feel free to play with the ingredients too. This can be made sweet with cinnamon, sugar, and raisins instead of seeds and salt. Because it is so versatile and can be whipped up so quickly, this is a great option for brunches or busy weekday dinners.
2 cups organic unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cup organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 ¾ cup organic buttermilk
2 Tbsp organic poppy seeds
3 Tbsp organic hemp seeds
3 Tbsp organic sesame seeds
1 tsp organic caraway seeds
1 tsp organic fennel seeds
½ tsp Himalayan pink salt, coarse
a bit of extra buttermilk
1. Preheat your oven to 400F with a rack placed in the center. Combine all of the seeds in one bowl and set aside.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and fine sea salt into a large bowl. Add in the seed mixture, reserving 2 teaspoons for the top of the loaf. Scoop a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the buttermilk. Being careful not to overwork the dough, stir until the ingredients just come together. If the dough seems too dry, you can add a bit more buttermilk. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for one minute or until it can be shaped into a loose ball.
3. Lightly flour a baking sheet with cornmeal and center the dough in the middle. Cutting halfway through the top of the loaf with a knife, mark the dough with a cross. This will allow heat to penetrate the center of the bread for even baking.
4. Lightly brush the loaf with buttermilk and sprinkle the remaining seeds and Himalayan salt evenly on top.
5. Bake until the bread develops a crusted top and bottom, and the color becomes a nice golden brown – about 35 to 45 minutes. If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with a loose sheet of foil. Remove from the oven and cool the loaf on a wire rack, slice and enjoy.